1.) Shane Mosley (46-5-1; 39 KO) won his first full-fledged (i.e. non-interim) championship belt since 2004 by defeating Antonio Margarito (37-6; 27 KO) at the STAPLES Center last night to take the WBA Welterweight crown. That puts Mosley at 7-1 since losing multiple light middleweight belts to Ronald Wright in '04. His only loss in that stretch was, incidentally, to Miguel Cotto -- who in turn has only lost to Antonio Margarito in his 33 fight career. That makes for a rather interesting triangle, and could mean that a rematch between Mosley and Cotto is in order. Certainly that fight, won by Cotto via a narrow unanimous decision, was closer than yesterday's drubbing of Margarito by Mosley, which ended in the 9th round. Mosley says he wants big fights, and if Cotto gets past Michael Jennings on February 21, I would think that rematch would fit the bill.
2.) The only title fight on the schedule next week is for the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight crown, and will Herman Ngoudjo (17-2; 9 KO) against Juan Urango (20-1; 16 KO). Urango's sole loss came two years ago against Ricky Hatton, in a decisive unanimous decision. Ngoudjo, meanwhile, has a split decision loss to Jose Luis Castillo and a fairly narrow unanimous decision loss to Paulie Malignaggi on his record over the past two years. I'm going to give the edge to Urango going in, but I don't know much about these two fighters and what sort of matchup they'll have.
3.) Remember Francois Botha? He's perhaps best remembered for being on the losing end of fights with Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, and Lennox Lewis between 1996 and 2000. Botha returned to the ring from a five year absence with a unanimous decision win against Bob Mirovic (28-18) in 2007. He'll be facing the similarly uninspiring Ron Guerrero (20-15; 14 KO) in South Africa on January 30. Believe it or not, the fight will be for a "world title" of sorts, as the World Boxing Federation has decided to award the winner its vacant crown. If it isn't WBO, WBA, WBC, or IBF, however, nobody cares.
4.) There was some hope that Manny Pacquiao's next fight would be against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. -- but if that fight is going to happen, we'll have to wait. Pacquiao's first order of business will be to take out Ricky Hatton on May 2. This fight should be interesting as well, but I expect Pacquaio to solve Hatton without much trouble. I hope that's the case -- a convincing win over Hatton could open the door to Mayweather, since it would make it more likely the money for a huge purse would appear.
5.) Mark your calendar for March 21, when WBC Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko will defend his belt against Juan Carlos Gomez. As I've said in the past, I'm a sucker for heavyweight bouts, and I think this one will be entertaining. David Haye might be waiting in the wings for the winner, especially if the winner is Klitschko.
Labels: Boxing Banter